Urlacher says he may test free agency in 2013

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As Brian Urlacher prepares for his 13th NFL season, it also could be his final one with the Bears.

Urlacher, who turned 34 on Friday, celebrated his birthday by proclaiming in a radio interview that he may give free agency a whirl in 2013.

“I think [Bears president] Ted Phillips said when they had the owners meeting they’re gonna wait until the season is over, Urlacher said Friday on WMVP-AM 1000, via the Sports Xchange. “See what happens, how I play.  It’s kind of exciting.  I’ve never been a free agent.  So if I can get to free agency we’ll see what happens.

“I no doubt want to finish my career here.  There’s no doubt about that.  But you bring in free agency and all that you just never know what’s gonna happen.”

What’s going to happen, if Urlacher becomes a free agent, is that he’ll learn the veteran market for linebackers won’t support the $7.5 million base salary he’s due to earn from the Bears in 2012, especially as he closes in on his 35th birthday.  And when Urlacher realizes that a 35-year-old middle linebacker won’t attract the same interest as a 35-year-old franchise quarterback, he’ll likewise realize that the Bears will pay him more than anyone else.

That may be precisely what needs to happen before Urlacher feels as good as he can about the next contract the Bears will put on the table.

If, of course, the Bears decide to even do that.

30 responses to “Urlacher says he may test free agency in 2013

  1. Urlacher is a smart guy. He’s just posturing. He wants to be in Chicago and they want him. He just needs to convince them that they need him at a reasonable price.

  2. He might be posturing but the Bears are not. They have a genuine concern that he is in decline and he will be 35 in 2013. Too many other young linebackers out there that will be much cheaper.

  3. Seau played waaaay past his prime…. hoping to get a ring. Its hard to remember the days when he was considered perhaps the best ever, because he was mediocre for just as long. He did contribute, but was no game changer. Urlacher’s not done yet, but it’s closer than he thinks, apparently.

  4. Chicago won’t let him leave.

    He’s the face of franchise and still a super smart linebacker.

    He’ll retire as a Bear, hopefully.

  5. He is the face of the franchise, but that isn’t why they won’t let him leave. He is the heart of that defense, and as long as he has been there that defense has kept them competitive. Urlacher still seems close to his prime physically, but even after he loses a step or two he will still be a high end starter and irreplaceable leader. Urlacher isn’t as vocal or flashy about it as Ray Lewis is, but his leadership is every bit as important to the Bears as Lewis’ is the Ravens. Not that Lewis wasn’t a bit of a better player, but that is hardly a knock. The second Urlacher leaves, that defense is going to take several steps back, best to keep him as long as he can be effective on the field.

  6. Even though he won’t make 7.5M in the FA market, he’s at the point of his career where winning a SB may be a higher priority than maximizing his salary.

    If the Bears miss the playoffs next year, he should go sign with a contender that he thinks has a better chance if winning it all.

  7. Urlacher – dont talk crazy…Chicago will never let you go! I say give him a reasonable deal and when done turn him into LB Coach.

  8. I’m sure he’ll retire as a Bear. I mean, since when would the face of the franchise ever leave and go play on another team? Oh, wait.

  9. I’m pretty sure the Bears will offer him an extension. But nothing can get done on extensions for anyone until July 17th – unless Forte comes to his senses earlier.

  10. Tom Brady faked him out on a run! Tom freaking brady! Seriously, I’m a New England fan, but that dude cannot run. My eight year old daughter doesn’t look as gaudy as he does. This guy’s done!

  11. You are all correct. He is the face of the franchise and the unquestioned leader on the defense. He will never leave because that never happens in the NFL. Signed, Brian Dawkins. Also, you are right that the Bears will take care of him because they always take care of their good players. Signed, Matt Forte

  12. I love Urlacher, but he isn’t getting any younger. I appreciate having a stud middle linebacker for a decade. Do whats best for the team and find a younger replacement.

  13. You all can say whatever you want but the crystal clear fact of it all is that London Fletcher is the BEST MLB in football and has been since 1999 BROTHER.

  14. Is it just me or does Urlacher sound like a wood varnish?

    “Throw another coat of urlacher on that deck, wouldn’t want it to be ruined by the rain”

  15. Given Forte’s situation, is anyone surprised Urlacher is taking this avenue? The Bears wont pay for a young proven guy…why would they pay for an older proven guy?

  16. *** beretta96d ***

    >>> Tom Brady faked him out on a run! Tom freaking brady! Seriously, I’m a New England fan, but that dude cannot run. My eight year old daughter doesn’t look as gaudy as he does. This guy’s done! <<<

    Seriously dude!?!?!?
    Devin Hester has been tackled by a few kickers in the open field before, last man to beat and he got tackled by the kicker!!

    I guess, based on your logic, Hester has no business returning kicks either huh?!?!?!?!

  17. Who would want an old linebacker who has been overated for the last couple of years, if it was Briggs testing the market I would listen. Oh yeah the Bears suck

  18. I fear the clock is indeed ticking for Urlacher, and perhaps maybe Hester as well. They’ve both obviously lost a step or two.

  19. There’s another issue too, the idea of any player frequently being involved in tackles (LB, RB, SS) will be toxic too much past 30 years old because of the future lawsuit risk. If I was an owner I’d say no new contracts for players in those positions beyond 32 years of age.

  20. Has he ever stopped bitchin about something. He always has been pissin and moaning about something… I say “GO”. I’ve been a Bears fan my whole life. If he is the face of the franchise, we need a New one…….

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